View Full Version : Stuck cartridge

March 7, 2009, 04:20 AM
I have a Pietta 1860 Army into which I put a cartridge cylinder. It worked just fine until a couple of days ago when the cylinder stuck when I tried to cock it. After taking it apart and not finding anything obviously wrong except for one cartridge that was stuck in the cylinder. Then I noticed the nose of the bullet was sticking out from the front of the cylinder enough to catch on the barrel when I thumbed the hammer. Now I'm wondering how to get that cartridge out without setting it off and blowing my hand off. Any ideas?

March 7, 2009, 06:12 AM
Welcome jmf to TFL
Firstly if you post some Pictures of the problem you having with your post it makes it's a little easier for us to give you a possible remedy to your problem.
Some of your wording like cylinder will be a little vexing to some of us.
I take it that the cylinder you are talking about is the chamber of the rifle were the cartridge go's ?

mega twin
March 7, 2009, 06:35 AM
The 1860 army is a revolver.
I would take the cylinder and support it over something that will leave the chamber exposed and try pushing it out with a dowel. Just push,don't hit.
look at the primer,did it go off? If so,there will be very little danger of igniting the round. I'm assuming that you had a squid,or the bullet wouldn't have moved forward,or a loose crimp maybe.

March 7, 2009, 09:00 AM
I might drill a hole through the bullet, say about 3/16" and remove the powder. Tape the drill bit to assist in stopping it from over drilling. If you have a drill press you can set the depth. eye protection is a must!
After powder is remover, add a little water just to make sure, then use a drift to tap the case out witch should be easily removed in the 1st place, then a dowel to tap out the bullet.
Then you need to evaluate why this happened.
Without seeing the gun and the cartridge components, my 1st thought would be,
The cartridge was loaded without powder.

Let us know, Please


W. C. Quantrill
March 7, 2009, 09:44 AM
If I read you right, you are saying that you do have the cylinder out of the gun. If you do, then as mega twin says, support the back of the cylinder with the cartridge unsupported, then push the cartridge out. If you can get access to a drill press, chuck a piece of dowel in the chuck then use the drill press as a light duty press and just push the cartridge out the back of the cylinder.

You could also carefully file off the protruding nose of the bullet,,,key word CAREFULLY so as not to scar the cylinder, then put the cylinder back in the gun and shoot it out. If the case is still stuck then you would be removing an empty case and not a loaded one. I would suspect that after firing that the case would fireform to the chamber and extract ok.

March 7, 2009, 05:57 PM
Fileing the tip down was a good idea, Quantrill. Keeping in mind your cautioning about scarring the cylinder with a file, I wondered if a single edge razor would shave down the tip. After all, the bullet is soft lead. The razor blade worked and I shot the offending bullet away. I might not have thought about trimming the tip until you offered your file idea. Thanks.

By the way, when I took the cylinder off after firing, the brass shell just dropped out without any help.

March 7, 2009, 06:55 PM
Submerge the cylinder in a sink full of water. Use a small straight wire to get water to flow into the nipple. Once the powder is wet, use a nipple wrench to take the nipple off. Wash the powder from the cylinder through the nipple hole.
Now that the powder is gone, drill the ball and install a screw to provide leverage to get the ball out of the cylinder.

Edit: I read right over the part of the OP where a cartridge cylinder was installed. The solution is to pull the wedge, remove the barrel and cylinder, disassemble the cylinder, trash the uncrimped cartridges, and use cartridges with bullets that are firmly crimped in the case and won't move during recoil.

James K
March 7, 2009, 11:43 PM
PLEASE don't try to drill into the bullet. Drilling can generate enough heat to set off the powder charge and that would not be a good thing.

In those cases, the simplest solution is best; use a wood block to tap the bullet back into the chamber, then use a dowel to push the bullet and case out of the chamber. If it were me, I would do it differently, but the above is the advice I give out.

And next time, crimp your bullets.